Are There Video Poker Strategies?

Video poker is a very popular form of electronic gambling machine. Unlike other electronic gambling machines such as slot machines, video poker isn’t entirely random as the skill of the player can influence the game in your favor.

This has led many players to wonder if there are proven strategies that can increase their chances of winning at video poker.

Are There Video Poker Strategies?

In fact, there are several strategies you can employ that will give you a better chance of winning some money at video poker. Some are related to choosing the right machine and games, whereas others are about your own skills.

In this article, we will look at the various strategies that can help players win at video poker.

Understand The Pay Tables

Every video poker machine has a pay table that will tell you how much you can expect to win from each hand (see also “Can You Win On Video Poker Machines?“). Different winning hands will give you more winnings.

For example, a Royal Flush, typically the hardest hand to create in poker, will give you a better return than Two Pairs, one of the easiest hands.

The rates of the pay tables, however, can differ from machine to machine.

The return from each machine is based on these pay tables, so being able to understand the pay tables and decide which machine will give you the best return is essential. 

For example, let’s say that machine A has a pay table that gives players a 99.2 percent return on their money. However, machine B has a pay table that gives a 97.3 percent return.

This means that the casino keeps 0.8 percent from machine A, but will keep 2.7 percent on machine B.

In this circumstance, players should choose machine A as it gives a better return and less profit for the casino. Your rate of return with machine A is several times higher than with machine B.

Try not to spend your time and money on machines that have a lower return and worse pay tables.

Sign Up For Player’s Clubs

These can be a double-edged sword as they have been created by the manufacturers of video poker machines as a tool to keep you playing for longer. However, they also give the best odds and bonuses so they are worth signing up for.

Each time you play you will receive rewards points and they can also give cash back or even meal coupons. Some casinos that are linked with hotels may even give you room discounts.

You can usually sign up for Player’s Club cards online or in the casino itself. Many clubs have booths in the casino that allow you to sign up in person. When you have your card, simply slot it into the machine to get the rewards.

When you choose which casino to spend your time in, you should check out the different Player’s Clubs as they can really make a difference and help you maximize your winnings.

Check For Bonuses

Many casinos and video poker machines run promotions that can increase your chances of winning and make your payouts larger (see also “Best Payout Video Poker Machines“). Keep an eye out for any of these and take advantage of them when they are available. 

However, these bonuses are not always as well-advertised as they could be. They’re often missing from casino websites or aren’t clearly explained. Don’t be afraid to ask about the available bonuses!

Find a casino staff member or use the live chat feature to clarify what bonuses are available and what the terms and conditions are. 

Learn The Game

Are There Video Poker Strategies? (1)

There are really two different aspects to this so let’s break it down.

Learn The Rules Of Video Poker

Different variants of video poker will operate slightly differently but ultimately, they are all based on the same basic principles. They use a standard 52-card deck and play the same five-card draw poker that you can play at the poker tables.

Make sure that you are well-versed in how to play five-card draw poker and know all of the different winning hand combinations. You should also know which hand will beat the other hands as well, of course. 

You should also ensure that you know how to play the machine itself. Take a few moments to get used to the various buttons and what they do.

Learn The Rules Of A Specific Game

Although the different variants play the same basic game, they can have different bonus games and features that make them different from each other.

For example, Jacks or Better will only payout if your hand has at least two Jacks, whereas Deuces Wild makes all two cards into wild cards.

Pick one or two variants of video poker and research them. There are many online and video tutorials available that go into each machine in great detail to give you strategies and tips on how to maximize your chances of winning.

Take the time to watch these so that you know exactly what you are doing when you play your chosen video poker machine.

Play Slow

Keep in mind that video poker machines exist to make money for the casino. They are designed to keep you playing for long periods of time and to keep you playing fast.

They have fun designs that encourage you to keep playing and the instant gratification you get from winning a hand can become addictive.

Remember to take your time when playing these machines. You don’t need to instantly make a decision about which cards to keep as you might when playing at a table.

You can walk away and take a break whenever you need to. You can even take a small break while still seated at the machine if you wish.

Playing slow will minimize your losses and keep your mind clearer.

Final Thoughts

In this article, we introduced several video poker strategies. When you begin playing video poker in a casino (see also “How Do You Play A Video Poker Game?“), you should keep all of these strategies in mind to help you maximize your winnings.

Richie Thames
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